The 98-acre development features 25 retail, commercial, warehousing, and medical office uses surrounding the 11.5 acres of restored floodplain. With a construction budget of $125 million, the 642,000-sf mixed use project balances economic development with ecological benefits for the community.
Offering a unique approach to post construction stormwater management, a floodplain restoration was implemented as the primary BMP (in lieu of conventional infiltration or detention facilities) to meet the regulatory requirements. This approach includes the removal of sediment to reconnect the stream channel with the floodplain, the creation of large areas of interconnected wetland habitats, and the rehabilitation of groundwater interchange.
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The benefits of a floodplain restoration include peak runoff rate reduction, enhanced groundwater recharge, suspended sediment reduction, and nitrogen and phosphorus load reductions, as well as significant ecological and aesthetic improvements.
Construction of 4,750 linear feet of stream channel restoration began in the spring of 2017. Beyond the inherent habitat and thermal improvements, the project removed 38,500 tons of legacy sediment, created 8.5 acres of additional wetlands, and provides pollutant reductions of approximately 5,773 lbs/yr of Nitrogen, 254 lbs/yr of Phosphorous, and 400 tons/yr of Sediment. These yearly load reductions meet the township's obligations for their MS4 permit without the use of taxpayer monies.
Floodplain restoration is not a conventional stormwater management approach, specifically from a regulatory perspective. Creating partnerships with the local, state, and federal approval agencies is of tantamount to implementing this type of best management practice.
Additionally, not every site is suitable for floodplain restoration. There is great upfront pre-design cost which are needed in the way of studies. Historical, ecological, hydrological, and geotechnical studies needed during the feasibility stage of the design. Those cost can be daunting, but the return on investment of those up-front cost can be extremely high.
The upcoming Stormwater and Erosion Control Issue of Landscape Architect and Specifier News saw many firms submit their projects for feature consideration. This project was not chosen for a Feature in the issue, but we at LandscapeArchitect.com thought the project deserved to be showcased online . . .
• Wohlsen Construction Company
• Oak Tree Development
• RGS Associates, Inc
• Landstudies, Inc
• B.R. Kreider & Sons, Inc